Two females students using microscopes in a science lab.


Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) (with Foundation Year)

This course is open for applications.

About this course

Entry year:
Course code:
Tariff points:
Applied Sciences
Four years
Programme leader:
Dr Kathryn Yuill
Key fact:
Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) offers you direct entry to a career in the NHS as a healthcare scientist.

Page last updated 13 September 2017


Why study BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences)?

Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) examines the causes, diagnosis and treatment of diseases. The course offers a strong foundation in healthcare science and specialist skills in either cardiac or respiratory and sleep physiology. You will gain an understanding of the importance of patient-centred care, evidence-based practice, clinical audit and multidisciplinary team working. The course is practical, giving you the knowledge and professional skills for work as a clinical physiologist.

Why study our course?

BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) at UWE Bristol is the principal training route for healthcare science practitioners in the NHS. The course is provided through a unique collaboration between the University and local NHS providers in the South West region. With fully integrated work-based training, you will work at the leading-edge of healthcare science, using state-of-the-art equipment in a patient-facing environment.

Real-world experience

Practical, work-based training is a fundamental part of the course and you will spend more than 40 weeks on placements over its duration, developing specialist knowledge and professional skills within pathways specifically designed for a career as a healthcare scientist in the NHS.

Where it can take you

As the main training route into the NHS, the course leads directly to a career as a healthcare scientist working in a hospital clinic, as part of a medical or surgical team, or in the community. You will be able to choose to continue your studies to MSc or PhD level, or undertake further NHS-based training or specialisation.

Watch: The learning and teaching experience

Accreditations and partnerships:



This course will provide you with a strong foundation in healthcare science, along with specialist knowledge and training in either the Cardiac or Respiratory and Sleep Sciences. The combination of modules offered will enable you to understand the science of the causes, diagnosis and treatment of disease, while working at the cutting edge of healthcare sciences, using state-of-the-art equipment in a patient-facing environment.

Foundation year (Year zero)

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Biology in Practice
  • Chemistry in Practice
  • Skills for Science
  • People and Science.

You will study alongside students from our other Biological, Biomedical and Analytical Sciences courses, and therefore may be able to transfer to a course in one of these areas at the end of the Foundation year.

The normal expectation is that you must pass all Year zero modules before progressing to Year one.

Year one

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Biomedical Skills
  • Cell Biology, Biochemistry and Genetics
  • Introduction to Physiological Sciences.

Year two

You will start to specialise in Cardiac or Respiratory and Sleep Science, alongside the following compulsory modules:

  • Practice and Communication of Science
  • Diagnostic and Professional Practice in Healthcare Science.

If you are on the Cardiac Science pathway, you will also study the following modules:

  • Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology A
  • Cardiovascular Physiology and Pathophysiology.

If you are on the Respiratory and Sleep Sciences pathway, you will also study the following modules:

  • Respiratory and Sleep Physiol and Pathophysiol A
  • Respiratory and Sleep Physiol and Pathophysiol B

Final year

You will study the following compulsory modules:

  • Healthcare Science Project
  • Professional Practice.

If you are on the Cardiac Science pathway, you will also study the following modules:

  • Advanced Cardiac Physiology A
  • Advanced Cardiac Physiology B.

If you are on the Respiratory and Sleep pathway, you will also study the following modules:

  • Advanced Respiratory and Sleep Physiology A
  • Advanced Respiratory and Sleep Physiology B.

The University continually enhances our offer by responding to feedback from our students and other stakeholders, ensuring the curriculum is kept up to date and our graduates are equipped with the knowledge and skills they need for the real world. This may result in changes to the course. If changes to your course are approved, we will inform you.

Learning and Teaching

The department promotes student-centred learning, with guided individual learning encouraged through lectures, workshops, tutorials and practical work. Your studies will be supported with very well equipped modern lecture theatres and laboratories.

While on the 15 and 25-week placements, you will undertake a 30-credit Professional Practice in Healthcare Science module. This incorporates the Department of Health's Healthcare Science Practitioner Training Programme Training Manuals, with learning outcomes mapped to assignments to allow the award of marks. During the final 25-week placement, you will conduct a placement-based Healthcare Project.

For more details, see our full glossary of learning and teaching terms.

Percentage of time spend in different learning activities, per year.

YearScheduled learning and teaching studyIndependent studyPlacement study% check


You will be assessed through a mix of laboratory tasks, coursework, practical project work and examinations.

For more details, see our full glossary of assessment terms.

Percentage of time spend in different assessment methods, per year.

YearWritten exam assessmentCoursework assessmentPractical exam assessment% check


Professional accreditation

This course is accredited by the National School of Healthcare Science as part of Health Education England.

Once you have completed your professional portfolio, you can register with the Health Education England.


Throughout the course, you will be able to apply your expertise and build professional skills in patient-facing roles within the NHS. There are a minimum of six placement weeks in your second year at UWE Bristol (Year one), 15 weeks in your third year (Year two) in a specialist discipline (cardiac or respiratory and sleep) and 25 weeks in your chosen discipline in your final year. This means you will have over 40 weeks of work-based experience and training after completing the course, putting you in a strong position for employment opportunities with your placement provider.

Study facilities

Healthcare Science is primarily taught at UWE Bristol's main campus at Frenchay. In addition to the first-class campus facilities, the department's science laboratories have recently undergone a £3.2 million refurbishment and feature state-of-the-art analytical facilities and excellent technical support. Some teaching sessions will be held at the Glenside Campus, where specialist clinical simulation suites provide a unique learning opportunity for students on professional practice-based courses.

Find out more about the facilities and resources UWE has to offer.

Learn from experts

You will be supported and mentored by a team of healthcare science specialists at UWE Bristol and on placements. Guided independent learning is encouraged and supported by a course of lectures, seminars and tutorials, complemented by laboratory and computer-based sessions and a web-based virtual learning environment.


Careers / Further study

This course is a recognised training route for healthcare scientists and will prepare you for a range of careers or for postgraduate study. Healthcare scientists working in physiological sciences use specialist scientific equipment and typically have a significant amount of direct contact with patients. Graduates work in hospital clinics and departments, as part of a medical or surgical team and in the community. The course also develops the transferable skills valued by every employer, including teamwork, communication, leadership, problem solving and numeracy.

Award-winning careers service

Our award-winning careers service will help you develop your employment potential through career coaching and a vacancy service for internships, along with placements, jobs, global opportunities, volunteering and community activity, plus support for entrepreneurial activity and access to employer events.

Creating employable students

UWE Bristol places strong emphasis on employability and skills development at every level. Through work placements, volunteering, study abroad and initiatives nurturing talent and innovation, you will have opportunities to gain valuable real world experience, allowing you to graduate with diverse career opportunities and a competitive place in the job market.

Visit our Employability pages to find out about careers, employers, real world experience and what our students are doing six months after graduating.

Be inspired

Read about NHS careers in the South West.


Full Time Course

FeesAmount (£)
International-Full Time-Annual (Per Year) Fee12750
International-Full Time-Module Fee (15 Credit)1594

Indicative Additional Costs

FeesAmount (£)
Additional Course Costs - Full Time - Home/EU - Indicative Maximum Cost Per year450
OH/Medical assessment - ONLY charged for missed appointments.30

Supplementary fee information

The additional costs listed are those you could reasonably expect to incur during your studies and are for items not covered by the standard tuition fee. These could be materials, text books, travel, clothing, software or printing.

Further information about fees and funding.


Typical offers

  • Tariff points: 48
  • GCSE: For all applicants, Grade C/4 or above in English Language, Mathematics and Double Science, or equivalent. Please note the University does not accept Level 2 Key Skills, Functional Skills or Certificates in Adult Numeracy and Literacy as suitable alternatives to GCSEs.
  • A-level subjects: Science AS or A2. Points from A-Level General Studies and AS-Level subjects (not taken onto full A-Level) can be included towards overall tariff. You must have a minimum of one A-Level.
  • Specific subjects: Science at GCSE, A or AS-Level
  • Relevant subjects: Maths
  • EDEXCEL (BTEC) Diploma: To include six units in a science subject
  • Access: Achievement of the Access to HE Diploma; to include level 3 credits in Science
  • Baccalaureate IB: A pass in a higher level science subject

Entry requirements

This course is designed to accept a wide range of people with different educational backgrounds. You will be considered on an individual basis.

As well as meeting the academic entry requirements, you should meet the following selection criteria:

Health assessment/declaration/vaccinations. You must be in good health and be up-to- date with your routine immunisations e.g. tetanus, diphtheria, polio and MMR. If you are offered a place, you will be required to complete a questionnaire and must be prepared to undergo a medical examination. You will also be required to confirm your status in respect of a number of infectious diseases and immunisations (tuberculosis, measles, mumps, rubella, chicken pox, varicella, hepatitis B, hepatitis C, HIV antibodies) and be prepared to have all required vaccinations. If your vaccinations are not up-to-date this will affect your ability to continue on the course. If you have any concerns with regards to vaccinations please raise this at the point application.

Disclosure of Criminal Background. The Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 does not apply and all convictions, including those which are spent, must be disclosed. If you are offered a place, you must undergo a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check and will be required to complete a Disclosure Application Form. All information will be treated in confidence and only taken into account when absolutely necessary.

Selection Event. If you are shortlisted, you will be invited to attend a selection event including an individual interview with an academic member of staff and a representative from a laboratory practice setting. On successful completion of all of these criteria, you will be offered a place.

If you expect to achieve a higher tariff score, you may also be interested in our BSc(Hons) Healthcare Science (Physiological Sciences) course.

How to apply

Please see the general information about applications.

For further information


UWE Main Campus

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